Former city manager Judy Rogers received a golden handshake worth more than half-a-million dollars when she was forced to vacate city hall by Vancouver’s new council in December.

Rogers received a severance package of $571,788, according to the minutes of a Dec. 12, in-camera council meeting.

The documents were released Thursday to a CBC reporter who requested the documents through the Freedom of Information Act.

“The number sounds big to people, but it’s the right number,” Vision Coun. Geoff Meggs said Thursday.

“It’s the number that both the law and common sense require for someone of her seniority and her experience and her contribution to the city.”

Rogers had served as city manager since 1999 and had worked at city hall for 20 years.

At the time, Mayor Gregor Robertson said the decision to replace Rogers with new city manager Penny Ballem supported the new council’s “agenda for change.”

In a Dec. 12 news release, Robertson said Rogers had made an enormous contribution and had “worked hard to make Vancouver the great city it is today.”

Meggs said the size of Rogers’ settlement might be a surprise to a person earning an average salary, but was appropriate given that she was a senior executive, earning a very large salary.

It is believed that Rogers was earning more than $300,000.

“When she leaves a position,” Meggs said, “she’s entitled to consideration, and the law sets out how you make that calculation and this is the number that gets produced.”